Indiana State University Library

Indiana State University Library Blog

Feb. 5: English Department’s Schick Lecture Series on Thoreau

Posted by isulib on January 30, 2015

Twenty-six years after emeritus professor Joseph S. Schick endowed the Department of English at Indiana State University with the most generous gift from a former faculty member, the Schick Lectures series is as strong as ever and has an enlightening program planned this year.

In accordance with the endowment, the Schick series invites scholars from the United States and United Kingdom to lecture on literature and language topics before 1900. This year’s lineup starts with a talk on English poet John Milton and Italian scientist Galileo.

All lectures, which are free and open to the public, begin at 3:30 p.m. in Root Hall A264:

— Feb. 5: William Rossi, University of Oregon. Rossi is the editor of “Thoreau’s Walden, Civil Disobedience, and Other Writings,” “Wild Apples and Other Natural History Essays,” “Journal 6: 1853,” “Walden and Resistance to Civil Government,” “Journal 3: 1848-1851” and other works.

Schick taught at Indiana State, 1946-1976, and bequeathed $860,000 of his estate with his passing in 1988. The endowment is now valued at more than $1 million.

“While Professor Schick’s gift to the ISU Foundation to establish a lecture series was huge, his greater gift to Indiana State University was as a teacher, campus leader and scholar for 30 years,” said Ronald Baker, professor emeritus of English and Schick’s biographer. “As a teacher of Chaucer, the English language, research and bibliography and American literature, Schick always maintained high standards in the classroom and received several honors for his teaching.”

With this lecture series, Schick continues to enrich young minds. Each lecturer spends at least a day on campus — and as many as three days in Terre Haute — so students get the opportunity to interact with these eminent academics from Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Brown and beyond.

During a recent visit by Pulitzer-Prize winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon, a graduate student who was studying Muldoon sat next to him at dinner — and benefitted from the interview of a lifetime, said Robert Perrin, English professor and department chair. Other students may meet a lecturer and then decide to conduct future graduate classwork at the lecturer’s university.

The English department also buys a copy of the in-print books written or edited by each author, who autographs them during his or her visit. The collection, now up to 1,200 books, is kept in the Schick Library for use by students and faculty.

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Contact: Robert Perrin, professor and department chair of English, 812-237-3160 or Robert.Perrin@indstate.edu

Reprinted from ISU Today

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